The Crinan Canal Corridor, Argyle and Bute – A Scotland’s Year of Coasts and Waters case study

Submitted by: HarrisonStevens

Scottish Canals embarked a charrette for the Crinan Canal Corridor in 2016 – ‘Rethink the Link’. The Crinan Canal is a Scheduled Monument, a crucial tourism watercourse and a significant corridor for leisure and tourism within Mid Argyll. The Canal Corridor has an important economic role to play which needed to be further understood and utilised for the economic benefit of the area. The key conclusions from the charrette included a desire to create a continuous, attractive waterside route, create stronger and better connections to the Canal and to develop the public realm within the villages. The outcomes from the event have included several funding applications from sources such as the Scottish Government’s Regeneration Capital Grant Fund, Sustrans and the regional authority’s infrastructural budget.

On the back of the successful charette process, a Public Realm and Access Study was commissioned and focused on improving access and raising awareness of active travel routes between Ardrishaig and Lochgilphead and improving the public realm at key points to promote links between the canal and Loch Gilp.

In tandem with the Access Study, a development adjacent to Ardrishaig Harbour was starting to take shape. The Egg Shed provides space for heritage interpretation, retail and community use. Named after the building’s former use, transit storage of eggs between the canal and the Clyde, the existing structure has been retained and creatively reused, providing a historical springboard from which the new building took shape. A modest external layout works with the sites existing features and topography to provide a new connection between the harbour, the village and the canal and a welcome resting spot for cyclists and pedestrians with some wonderful views over Loch Gilp.

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